2019, movie installation

voice: Edward Sweeney

Once only we saw a trace that some one had passed that perilous way before us. From amid a tuft of cotton-grass which bore it up out of the slime some dark thing was projecting. Holmes sank to his waist as he stepped from the path to seize it, and had we not been there to drag him out he could never have set his foot upon firm land again. He held an old black boot in the air. " Meyers, Toronto," was printed on the leather inside.
"It is worth a mud bath," said he. "It is our friend Sir Henry's missing boot."
"Thrown there by Stapleton in his flight."
"Exactly. He retained it in his hand after using it to set the hound upon his track. He fled when he knew the game was up, still clutching it. And he hurled it away at this point of his flight. We know at least that he came so far in safety."
But more than that we were never destined to know, though there was much which we might surmise. There was no chance of finding footsteps in the mire, for the rising mud oozed swiftly in upon them, ...

- from Arthur Conan Doyle "The Hound of the Baskervilles"

A detective pursues the trail the criminal left. However, can he find the true criminal drowsing at the end of those trail? Suppose the trail he found indicates a certain suspect, but it could be a trap what the true criminal who is not the suspect arranged in order to the detective cast doubt on him. Successfully, the detective is wrapped around his little finger and then accuse the false suspect. Also he is managed by the true criminal and so confesses.

Let’s assume that the detective gets wise to the management: the suspect is a decoy and there is the true criminal. Nevertheless, even if he reaches ‘the true criminal’, also he might be a scapegoat, too. The inference structurally gets into difficulties.

It works both ways: The detective detected that the incident was the murder pretended to be an accidental death, but in fact, it had been only an accident. A conclusion of inference is difficult by nature, so an inference is always questionable at any phase. Now, the inference by the detective is a kind of delusion what he made up with the circumstantial evidences left accidentally at the venue, isn’t it?

The true criminal always eludes and leaves the decoy suspect. When we catch him, he becomes the false suspect and the true criminal escapes through the inference. That’s the true criminal. "Listen to me, the detective. The true criminal is not me and he has the perfectly same appearance to me. I have been managed. I am a decoy. Trust me!" - "That’s the shameful excuse." - The true criminal is the twin of the true criminal.

The detective would be ignorant and "never have set his foot upon firm land again”. The inference always begins to drag on, but it’s the occupation called as detective. "It is worth a mud bath".


コナン・ドイル『バスカヴィル家の犬』延原謙訳・延原展改訳 新潮文庫






Exhibition '67th Tokyo University of the Arts Graduate Works Exhibition'

1.28.2019-2.3.2019, at Tokyo University of the Arts Ueno Campus

archive photo: Mayu Ishikawa

Handout PDF